In the autumn of 2017 the ninth Preis der Nationalgalerie was awarded to Agnieszka Polska (born 1985 in Lublin). The artist now presents a new multi-channel video installation in a solo exhibition in the Historic Hall at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin.
Agnieszka Polska combines animation and filmed sequences into encrypted adaptations of cultural artefacts. Often pervaded by an unsettling undertone, the artist’s alluring, visually-rich universe of works addresses the state of the world today and our role and responsibility within it. For her latest project Polska takes as her starting point a historical correspondence from the fifteenth century between Mikołaj Serafin, the official who governed the Polish salt mines, his workers, and a web of creditors and debtors. In an unprecedented occurrence the mines were leased to Serafin by the king and functioned as an early form of capitalist entity within the feudal system.
Polska’s immersive sound and video installation presents the story of the illiterate messenger delivering Serafin’s letters, who one day becomes stranded in the forest. Here a sudden and unexpected encounter offers the protagonist a hallucinatory vision that merges the contemporary notions of unsustainable usage of raw materials and information-based capital with Christian apocalyptic theology.Agnieszka Polska, Horse Head, 2018 © Agnieszka Polska